TUESDAY, JANUARY 26TH TRAILS CONDITION REPORT: If you have been following the conditions reports since our last round of moisture you are noticing that we are in a very gradual drying trend in regards to trail tread surfaces. Because of the time of year, with short periods of sunshine and colder temperatures over night, this drying process is slower than you would expect. The forecasts are indicating that today may be the last day of this dry, cooler weather with a chance of snow or rain beginning tonight and last through the rest of the week. With the possibility of trails getting muddy again with any significant amount of moisture, head out to dry trails today to take advantage.
1) Be mindful that there are still plenty of muddy sections of trail out there. We are still seeing some wet areas of trail in places like Seaman's, Peggy's, and Chukar Butte among others, so head out with muddy trail etiquette in mind. That said, trails such as Bob's and Corral's, all with a significant amount of sand in the soil, have dried out considerably since the weekend. Please refer to the Ridge to Rivers Winter Trail Use page for more information: https://www.ridgetorivers.org/etiquette/winter-trail-use/
2) Please take a look at some of the pictures from Kestrel trail that we have posted this morning. They are a great example of how significant and how quickly our trails can be impacted by muddy trail use during this time of year. Tread damaged by walking through muddy trails is one thing, but many folks will inevitably walk above or below established trails to avoid the muddy soils. Without any significant barriers to walking off trail throughout our foothills (no tree density and few areas of large barrier stones) widening trails by trampling grasses and small brush happens in the course of weeks or days here. With a desert climate during much of the rest of the year, this small vegetation just can't compete and grow fast enough to heal after the wetter, muddy periods are over. What we are left with are a foothills environment and trails that get altered significantly in a very short period of time and leave them open to even more change through erosion in future seasons. Please keep this in mind when discussion of using muddy trails comes around during this time of year and how critical our behavior (in association with other trail management strategies such as all weathering surfaces, etc.) are to maintaining this place and the trails that we all use and love!
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The Boise Foothills provide a postcard backdrop that inspires and soothes the soul. An interconnected network of roads and trails courses through the hills, linking not only neighborhoods with public lands but also connecting people with the natural environment. With over 190 miles of trails, there is something for everyone. Here we provide ideas and tips about where to go, how to enjoy the foothills without damaging them and information about the area you may find interesting. As you explore, notice the diversity in the land, the plants and the animals, then imagine our community without this unique treasure. You can help protect and care for this special place by learning more about the land and its needs.